Are you listening to your customers? Really?

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Are you listening to your customers? Really?

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As the sayings go, it’s easier to sell to an existing customer than a new prospect, and it’s easier to retain a customer than find a new one.

So, why do companies chose to ignore customer feedback? Especially when they invite feedback, then ignore it.

Most consumers, when unhappy with a service or supplier, will simply buy elsewhere in the future. So, when a customer takes the time to feedback their negative experience, it might tell you a few things, such as:

  • Despite a poor experience, the customer might retain some loyalty to your brand.
  • The customer wants to be listened to, and wants to engage with you.
  • It’s an opportunity for you to transform dissatisfaction into delight.
  • If you don’t respond positively you may cement, perhaps forever, the customer’s dissatisfaction and you could lose them to your competitor.

I recently had a poor experience with an online bank after they made “improvements” to their site. Luckily for them, their website popped-up a customer survey and I decided it was an appropriate forum to tell them of my experience and, because I have some knowledge of web technology, what I might suggest to remedy the problems.

Did I hear back? Did I get a “thanks for bringing this to our attention” message? Nope, nothing.

Here is the point: I was disappointed with my experience and wanted to tell them, and to helpfully suggest ways to make it better. But from my customer perspective, no-one read my survey response. It’s like the survey is simply a marketing ploy to pretend they are listening, but they really aren’t.

Here are some tips to those running online surveys:

Monitor survey responses

Yes actually read them! If you see dissatisfaction, then act. Respond promptly to the customer. Listen, and demonstrate you are listening.

If you have a high volume of responses, then utilise a Survey tool that helps to identify responses requiring prompt action.

Use a Scoring methodology

This enables you to assign a score to each pre-defined answer, making it easier for you to to filter and manage respondents who require prompt action.

Use an alerting system

A survey alerting is where the survey system automatically sends you an email should a respondent select any of your pre-defined answers that signal dissatisfaction.

To turn dissatisfaction into delight, pick the right survey tool, make a follow-up action plan, and follow-up promptly where necessary.